9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS09 Research Methods in Ethnic and Migration Studies

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Transnationalism and History Building I, 2E5

Mobility of Russian Scientist: The comparative analysis of the historical stages

The scientist mobility has various forms. Our study is concerned with territorial movements of scientists in Russia at various historical stages as well as finding out how the territorial mobility influences Russia´s integration into the global scientist community.
The paper will show that the territorial mobility of scientists hardly existed in the Soviet times with isolation from the world and total control of international contacts. Even inside the country it was forced (graduates were sent to work by the choice of government). Geography of international contacts was limited, mainly within the socialist bloc. In the post-Soviet period, mobility took quite the opposite forms. The mass irreversible migration of scientists weakened Russian science and was one of the factors that generated a deep crisis in science. More liberal international cooperation increased tenfold the pendulum mobility, geography of scientific cooperation was extended thanks to ties with scientists from various countries.
Today, the territorial mobility of scientists in Russia is much lower than in the West. The mobility of scientists in Russia is of markedly emigrational nature, it is often irreversible. There are no strong ties with scientists who emigrated to work abroad and there are no mechanisms to get those scientists back home. The pendulum mobility of scientists is also low. Most Russian scientists maintain relationship with colleagues mainly in Russia. Weak participation of Russian scientists in joint projects, international scientific conferences, symposiums, an insignificant number of joint publications with foreign authors, a low citation index are a result of the low three types of mobility: inpatrial (inside the country), pendulum and a migration with a feedback. The irreversible migration (without a feedback) is a barrier to Russia´s integration into the world division of labor.
Nowadays, some measures have been taken in the science policy to keep scientist elite in the country and to correct the mobility, however it remains to see how these changes will reveal themselves in future.